Finally sprung some cash for lift struts and brackets. The main reason for doing so was the addition of a 320W solar panel and Maxx Air fan. The panel weighs about 80lbs and the fan adds another 10 or so.
Needless to say the top was a bit tough to lift.
4x JR Products BR10336, (mine came from http://www.rvautoparts.com/)
4x Suspa c16-10198 gas springs Made in USA, 60 LB(mine came from http://www.liftsupportsdepot.com/)
After installing these, they are too stiff... almost. I have to actually force the top down, even with almost 100LB extra on the lid. Look for the 40 LB versions, in other threads
40x #8x3/4 sheet metal screws, For aluminum use I like the non self tapper style or commonly called zip-screws. The self tappers have a tendency to make the hole too big in aluminum and strip, but Zip screws displace the material, leaving more threads
impact and/or drill driver with 1/4" bit
BFH (why not?)
Here's a basic quick rundown:
*Start with the top up. You need to install these in a fashion that won't interfere with top latches, or other things.
*Eyeball an approximate location of the strut. For maximum force of gas spring you want it as close to vertical as possible in the extended position
*Measure about 36 inches between top frame and camper frame at proposed installed angle.
*Measure 20 inches from previous point on camper frame to an almost horizontal location where the strut would be with top down.
*Install upper bracket near the outer corner of the top. Install strut onto top ball,
* to locate lower bracket, swing the strut to where the lower bracket holes would meet the camper frame and the ball meets the lower strut socket
*I chose to keep a slight pre-load on spring, so from previous location, move lower bracket outward 1/2"-1" so the ball would intersect the strut near the top of the socket, and install
*On older campers in the rear, the rain drip rail has to be removed, and the lower edge if the trim has to be ground flush with the rest of the surfaces with a cut-off wheel.
Finally if your door closes rather poorly, like mine, you may want to reinstall the drip rail. This causes a bit of interference with the lower socket, but nothing I'm concerned with
* repeat for all corners, trying to keep things symmetrical
So here's a pictorial:
Parts and tools:
struts/ gas spring/ lift support. Go for the 40 LB versions if you don't have over 100 lbs extra on roof
these come in pairs in each package, you need 4 packs
I chose these brackets for 2 reasons: They have 5 screw holes vs 2 or 5 and the ball mount is taller than all others, to keep the spring from rubbing on top drip rail.
for aluminum, I prefer the top right style of screws, not self tapping. Pre-drilling is not needed
Continued in next post
Edited by hooptytank, 22 July 2016 - 02:42 PM.